Companies are Lining up to Produce ‘Green’ Ammonia for Fertilizer and Future Fuel

Decarbonizing a wide range of sectors and industrial processes will be critical in the years ahead as society attempts to lessen its environmental imprint.

If the latest conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are any indication, time is of importance when it comes to discovering new solutions and technology to do so.

Its assessment, released last week, cautioned that reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels would be “out of reach” in the next two decades unless greenhouse gas emissions were reduced immediately, rapidly, and on a huge scale.

According to a policy briefing from The Royal Society, a number of companies are seeking to lessen the environmental effects of ammonia production, which accounts for around 1.8 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

For example, three Norwegian companies – Statkraft, Aker Clean Hydrogen, and Yara, a fertilizer company – created a company focusing on the manufacturing of so-called “green” ammonia on Monday.

The three companies have combined ownership in the new company, HEGRA. HEGRA will focus on electrifying and decarbonizing an ammonia factory in Herya, Norway, according to Statkraft, which is controlled by the Norwegian government.

The initiative’s overall goal is to create ammonia at a large scale using renewable energy. After that, the ammonia would be utilized to make carbon-free fertilizer. Green ammonia is also “a promising zero-emission fuel for the maritime sector,” according to Statkraft.

In terms of a schedule, Holsether estimated that the project would take five to seven years to complete. The creation of HEGRA is only one example of how businesses are looking for solutions to reduce ammonia production-related emissions.

Yara is also collaborating with ENGIE in Australia to create a plant that will produce renewable hydrogen and ammonia. The Australian government has provided a grant of 42.5 million Australian dollars ($31.15 million) to the project.

Last week, BP stated that “green hydrogen and green ammonia synthesis utilizing renewable energy” was now theoretically achievable at scale in Australia.

The conclusion of the energy giant is based on the conclusions of a feasibility study released in May 2020, which was backed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, solar developer Lightsource bp, and professional services firm GHD Advisory.

BP highlighted Western Australia as “an attractive area” for the development of “large scale renewable energy assets that can create green hydrogen and/or green ammonia for domestic and export markets,” according to a statement.

Photo Credit: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/11/food-and-farming-could-stymie-climate-efforts-researchers-say